Whisky Review #25 – The Single Cask American Sour Mash 5 Years Old
The America Sour Mash is a unique Tennessee whisky from George Dickel. Tennessee whisky is normally called straight whisky and must be produced only in Tennessee. Sour mash is a special technique that uses leftovers from a previous fermentation process to add a certain “sourness” to the current batch of fermentation. Bottled at cask strength, the America Sour Mash looks nothing like a 5 years old whisky. In fact, it looks more like an 18 years old! This unique 5 years old can easily be misunderstood as a whisky with added colours, but due to the US mandate that no colouring can be added to any whisky made on its land, you can be assured that the colour of the sour mash is certainly genuine.
Nose: Nail polish removal on the high! Glue alert! Strong, creamy vanilla tries to cover the acid but succeeds only partially. Caramel popcorns with leather come in shortly, with herbal or tobacco leaves. It feels sharp on the nose, likely to need some water. Gradually, it releases notes of chrysanthemum flowers with acetone. (17/20 points)
Palate: Aggressive and spicy even as the rich sweetness of corn syrup engulfs the palate, almost like burnt plastic. The hint of sourness mixes with sweet peppercorn and bitter orange chocolate as you keep the liquid in the mouth. Vanilla fades in and out just like the typical American bourbon with hints of salted caramel. (16/20 points)
Body: A Relatively balanced whisky with overpowering sweet corn and malt. Aggressive and spicy but yet sweet on the palate. (31/40 points)
Finish: A long finish of over-boiled sweets lingers on the palate with hints of sourness and a sharp spiciness. The overpowering sweetness lingers on your palate long after the drink is gone. (16/20 points)
Total Grade: 80/100 points
Geek Choc: “I did not like this very much due to the sweetness of caramel and vanilla. However, I’ve got to admit that the finish is great even if I do not completely agree with it. I think it will be an enjoyable drink for those who like sweet long finishes.”